Learning of the the Supreme Court decision on the Neri petition is like having a bad dream. It disturbs each and every rational citizen of this country to the fact that, due to this judicial document, any wrongdoing can now be concealed from the public in the name of “executive privilege.”
Well, though no one in his right mind would dare say that we really enjoy full democracy here in the Philippines, a lot of people still sees the Supreme Court as the last bastion of Philippine Democracy. This decision changed that.
What is executive privilege, anyway? It is not even indicated in our Constitution. It is only an assertion of a branch of government that is subject to interpretation of our courts. But now that the SC gives a blanket authority to the executive department to invoke such, anything can now be done under the cloak of it.
I must admit, though, that some senators may have abused their investigative powers to the point of power-tripping but it is not even mentioned in the decision. Truth be told, this decision made Executive Order 464 seem to advocate transparency. What’s there to hide between conversations between a president and her cabinet member about bribery? Is it because one of them is guilty of accepting bribes?
Now, refusing to use euphemism, this decision must be called a legal obstruction of justice. Forget about the people’s right to information. Forget about the principle of the government branches being co-equal to each other. Forget about everything.
The Supreme Court just gave Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a birthday gift, that the US Supreme Court refused to give to Nixon before. Expect more versions of the Watergate in our country.